Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke, , at sacred-texts.com
David prepares to bring home the ark, and musters the Levites, Ch1 15:1-11. They sanctify themselves, and bear the ark upon their shoulders, Ch1 15:12-15. The solemnities observed on the occasion, Ch1 15:16-26. David dances before the ark, and is despised by his wife Michal, Ch1 15:27-29.
1 Chronicles 15:1
Made him houses - One for himself, and one for the ark; in the latter was a tent, under which the ark was placed.
1 Chronicles 15:2
None ought to carry the ark - but the Levites - It was their business; and he should have thought of this sooner, and then the unfortunate breach on Uzza would have been prevented; see Ch1 15:13.
1 Chronicles 15:15
Upon their shoulders - That is the staves which went through the rings rested on their shoulders, but the ark itself rested on the staves like a sedan on its poles.
As Moses commanded - See Num 4:5, Num 4:15.
1 Chronicles 15:17
- Heman - Asaph - Ethan - These were the three chief musicians in the time of David; see Ch1 6:31.
1 Chronicles 15:20
With psalteries on Alamoth - Some suppose that the word signifies virgins, or women singers, the persons mentioned here being appointed to accompany them with psalteries, and preside over them.
The Vulgate says arcana cantabant, they sang secret things or mysteries; probably prophetic hymns.
1 Chronicles 15:21
On the Sheminith - According to the Targum, this signifies an instrument that sounded an octave, or, according to others, an instrument with eight strings. The Syriac and Arabic have it, instruments to sing with daily, at the third, sixth, and ninth hour; the Vulgate, an octave, for a song of victory: some think the eighth band of the musicians is intended, who had the strongest and most sonorous voices; and that it is in this sense that shelomith and lenatstseach should be understood.
1 Chronicles 15:22
Chenaniah - he instructed about the song - This appears to have been the master singer; he gave the key and the time, for he presided במשא bemassa, in the elevation, probably meaning what is called pitching the tune, for he was skillful in music, and powerful in his voice, and well qualified to lead the band: be might have been precentor.
1 Chronicles 15:26
God helped the Levites - When they saw that God had made no breach among them, as he had in the case of Uzza, in gratitude for their preservation, and his acceptance of their labor, they sacrificed seven bullocks and seven rams.
1 Chronicles 15:27
A robe of fine linen - A robe made of בוץ buts, probably the tuft or beard of the Pinna Magna, a species of muscle found every where on the shores of the Mediterranean, growing sometimes, as I have seen, to a foot and a half in length. I have seen a pair of gloves made of this very rich stuff; the color is a deep dark yellow, something inclining to what is called the lilac. The buts or byssus was not heard of in Israel before the time of David: after that it is frequently mentioned.
1 Chronicles 15:29
Michal - saw - David dancing - and she despised him - See this whole business explained Sa2 6:20 (note), etc., where David's conduct is vindicated, and the nature of Michal's disgrace and punishment hinted at, but all left to the reader's determination.